Increased shareholder activism tied to economic fallout – Financial Post

Andrew MacDougall

Feb 16, 2022

The pandemic and its economic fallout has contributed to greater shareholder activism, Osler’s Andrew MacDougall, partner, Corporate, says an interview with the Financial Post.

“The pandemic was a litmus test for the management teams of most corporations, and some corporations were better at weathering its effects than others,” says Andrew. Companies that are underperforming peers within their sectors have been exposed during the pandemic, and these businesses are now targets of institutional investors, even some that are not well known for taking an activist stance.

“I think Warren Buffett was right when he said that, ‘Only when the tide goes out do you discover who’s been swimming naked’,” says Andrew.

He expects increased levels of activism to continue this year, adding that generally strong stock markets over the past year have made institutional shareholders “less forgiving” when it comes to giving boards and management time to address disappointing performance.

Read the full article by author Barbara Sheeter posted on February 11, 2022